Real Christian Freedom

“The law which came on tablets of stone is the dispensation of death.”

Why I love my job...

“Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith”

 “The law was our custodian until Christ came.”

 ” We are not children of the slave (the Law), but of the free woman (Grace).”

  “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law…”

 “For freedom, Christ has set us free.”

 There are many verses in the Bible that constrict, and suffocate, and eventually kill (law verses). And there is a good purpose for those passages. For we need to die to ourselves.

And then there are verses in the Bible that bring life (gospel verses). Gospel verses destroy the condemnation and death that comes from law verses. Gospel verses give us the new life that we need. Gospel verses give us freedom. 

When I hear verses like the ones highlighted above, I feel the chains of the law falling from me, and I can breathe again, freely.

“Biblical principles”, or any “guides for living”, in the context of the Christian faith are formulas for death…for they are the law. There is no life in them.  It is dangerous to tell someone that there is nothing they can do to justify themselves and that they are free in Christ, and then slip the law in the backdoor by calling it a “guide”, or “principles for living”. 

There is nothing wrong with guides, and there is nothing wrong with principles, and there is nothing wrong with the law in the context of our creaturely existence. But mixed with our Christian faith they steal the freedom and spontaneity that the Spirit inspires by grace, and replace it with fear and bondage.

Thanks be to God for the freedom He has won for us on that bloody cross. May God bless and keep all those who proclaim and defend this unpopular, but gospel truth.

Advertisements

9 Responses

  1. So what should the Law scriptures be to us then, in our freedom? Just history? (I agree with you, and have been trying to figure out where that leaves much of the OT, specifically the Pentateuch.)

  2. Jonathan Puddle,

    We are still under the law as creatures of God, and citizens of the state. It is in effect and we are subject to it.

    But we must keep it seperated from our faith in Christ. The good conduct that the law demands from us, the Holy Spirit will inspire in us. We need not worry about pleasing God in any way. He is already pleased with us…in Christ. “It is finished” Our religious project of trying to be good enough is over. It was nailed to the cross of Christ. As far as God is concerned..we are truly free.

    As Christians, if we try to balance our obligations to the law and also proclaim freedom in Christ, we end up with a kind of ‘Christian schizophrenia’.

    That is why it is so important to be able to properly distinguish God’s law from His Gospel in scripture and to understand His purposes in each.

    The law is to kill us and drive us to Christ (aside from the civil use) and the gospel is to forgive us, and raise us to new life and freedom in Christ.

    If you want to muddy up the waters of forgiveness just add a drop of law to the gospel. And that is what we want to do by nature since the law is written upon our hearts. That is why we need to hear the pure gospel, and recieve the sacrament of the altar, over and over, and over again…until we are put into the ground. The ‘old Adam’ in us just doesn’t believe it and wants to continually justify ourselves with what we do.

    I realize that this is very difficult to grasp for most Christians. It is difficult for me. That ‘old Adam’ is an S.O.B. and just refuses to die… and stay dead.

    The late Dr. Gerhard Forde was a great proponent of this theolgy and has written some great books about our freedom in Christ and trusting in Him and Him alone for our sanctification.

    He explains it much better than I ever could.

    Thanks Jonathan!

    – Steve M.

  3. To Steve M.
    “We are still under the law as creatures of God, and citizens of the state. It is in effect and we are subject to it.”

    And as Christians we live according to the Law, which has been fulfilled in Christ, which is summed up in Christ’s command for us to love God and our neighbor.

    “The law is to kill us and drive us to Christ (aside from the civil use) and the gospel is to forgive us, and raise us to new life and freedom in Christ.”

    The Law does not drive us anywhere but into despair or presumption. The Gospel rescues us from the grips of the despair created by the Law on account of our sin. The Gospel is not to be given to the presumptuous. Christ forbids us from throwing pearls before the swine.

    “As Christians, if we try to balance our obligations to the law and also proclaim freedom in Christ, we end up with a kind of ‘Christian schizophrenia’.”

    Christians are kind of schizophrenic (Read Romans 7), but not in the way you describe. The Christian is schizophrenic in the sense that he is both “free lord over all and dutiful servant of all”. (Luther Freedom of the Christian, 1 Cor 9:19) The Christian is also schizophrenic in the sense that he is both sinner and a saint (See Romans 7).
    ——————————————————————-

    To Johnathan

    We should be careful of considering that the Old Testament is mostly Law then dances precariously close to the error of Marcion. The Old Testament and New Testament are history but not just history. Nor should they ever be considered so even by the Christian. The Old Testament contains means promises and types of Christ.

  4. I like the thoughts presented here. Keep thinking 🙂

  5. To Jonathan
    sorry about misspelling your name

  6. Steven G.,

    Good comments, Steven. I really like that quote from Luther.

    I think it can get tricky when we have to distinguish between creaturely existence and our life in Christ. I believe they are different.

    I believe that when St. Paul tells us that “Christ is the end of the law for all those who have faith”, that he means it, and furthermore it is if Christ is telling us Himself.

    But, as you rightly point out, we are still under the law in our earthly existence.

    Good points, on both sides, to ponder.

    Thanks Steven G.

    – Steve M.

  7. I can’t remember who said this or even if I am quoting it correctly; so my apologies ahead of time…….

    The Law can only take a sinner to the foot of the cross at Calvary, and no further.

    Good post Steve.

  8. “The Law can only take a sinner to the foot of the cross at Calvary, and no further.”

    Wayne,

    I like it! Nice one, Wayne!

  9. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by dalefoster on July 17, 2008 Real Christian Freedom https://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/real-christian-freedom/ – bookmarked by 2 members […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: